How A.I. is Eliminating Social Media Influencers and Reinventing a Fact-Based Internet

Social media has become a dominant force in our lives, influencing how we communicate, consume and create content online. According to Statista, the number of active social media users worldwide was 4.26 billion as of 2021, spending an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes daily on social media¹. However, social media also has its dark side, such as the spread of misinformation, fake news, hate speech, cyberbullying and manipulation by bots and trolls.

Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a powerful tool to combat these challenges and transform social media for the better. AI is a branch of computer science that aims to create machines or systems that can perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as understanding natural language, recognizing images, generating content and making decisions. AI has been integrated into many aspects of social media platforms, such as content moderation, personalization, advertising, recommendation and generation.

## How AI is Eliminating Social Media Influencers

One of the most popular trends on social media is influencer marketing, which involves using individuals with large followings and high credibility to promote products or services to their audiences. According to Business Insider Intelligence, the influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022². However, influencer marketing also has its drawbacks, such as the lack of transparency, authenticity and trustworthiness of some influencers, who may use fake followers, bots or paid reviews to boost their popularity and influence.

AI is disrupting this trend by creating new ways to identify and evaluate influencers, as well as generating new types of influencers that are powered by AI. For example:

- AI-enabled tools can help marketers find the best influencers for their campaigns based on their audience demographics, reach, engagement and relevance. These tools can also analyze the performance and ROI of influencer campaigns and optimize them accordingly³.
- AI can also help detect and filter out fake or fraudulent influencers who use bots or other methods to inflate their numbers or manipulate their audiences. For example, Twitter uses IBM Watson and natural language processing tools to moderate offensive posts.
- AI can also create synthetic or virtual influencers that are entirely generated by algorithms or controlled by humans. These influencers can have realistic appearances, personalities and voices that can attract and interact with followers. For example, Lil Miquela is a digital avatar that has over 3 million followers on Instagram and collaborates with brands like Prada and Calvin Klein.

## How AI is Reinventing a Fact-Based Internet

Another major challenge on social media is the proliferation of false or misleading information that can have serious consequences for individuals and society. According to a study by MIT researchers, false news stories are 70% more likely to be retweeted than true stories on Twitter. Moreover, false news stories can spread faster, farther and deeper than true stories on social media platforms.

AI is tackling this problem by developing new ways to verify, fact-check and correct information on social media platforms. For example:

- AI-enabled tools can help users and platforms identify and flag fake news stories based on their sources, content, context and metadata. These tools can also provide users with alternative sources or perspectives that can help them evaluate the credibility of information.
- AI can also help users and platforms generate and share factual and accurate information based on reliable data and sources. For example, generative AI can create social media posts with text or images that are based on facts or evidence. Moreover, generative AI can also create citations or references for the information that is generated or consumed online.
- AI can also help users and platforms educate themselves and others about the importance of critical thinking, media literacy and digital citizenship. For example, OpenAI’s ChatGPT is a breakthrough chatbot technology that can understand natural language and generate human-like responses in a conversational way. Users can chat with ChatGPT for recommendations, to answer questions or to complete other tasks similar to ChatGPT.

## Conclusion

AI is revolutionizing social media by eliminating social media influencers who are not authentic or trustworthy and reinventing a fact-based internet where searches come with works cited. AI is enhancing the quality, relevance and diversity of content on social media platforms, as well as empowering users and platforms to combat misinformation, fake news and other harmful content. AI is also creating new opportunities and challenges for social media users, marketers and platforms, who need to adapt to the changing landscape and leverage the potential of AI for good.
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